As Florida continues to recover from Hurricane Ian, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration is providing $50 million in emergency funds to cover some costs of storm damage to two key island causeways and other damaged highways and in the state's southwest coastal area.

In releasing funds on Oct. 21 to the Florida DOT, the federal agency said the “quick release” aid represents a “down payment” on what is surely to be a much larger need for cleanup, repair and reconstruction.

FHWA added that funding will pay for repairs to the Sanibel Island and Pine Island causeways, among other uses. Emergency repairs to the Sanibel causeway were completed ahead of schedule 15 days after work began, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Oct. 19. FDOT has said permanent repairs will follow.

A temporary bridge was put in place on the Pine Island roadway in early October.

FHWA said FDOT also has identified 20 other “critical intersections” that require emergency repairs to restore essential traffic.

The funds come from the federal agency's Emergency Relief program, which provides financial support to states after storms and other natural disasters. The $50-million allocation to Florida is a particularly large individual amount for the program.